Interview With Writer Rhonda Merwarth, “A Heavenly Christmas” Hallmark Publishing

By Ruth on February 6, 2018 in book, Interview, movie

As many people know, Hallmark has entered the amazing world of book publishing, and the first books they published were four beloved Christmas novelizations of popular Christmas movies that have previously aired on their network. One of these was A Heavenly Christmas, originally written for the screen by Gregg McBride, but adapted by Rhonda Merwarth as an e-book. Because Christmas was such a busy time, only recently did Rhonda have an opportunity to answer a few questions about herself and her books, and I am happy to share this brief snapshot with my readers today.

RH: Why did you decide to become an author?

RW: I’ve always been a reader, but in 2006, I decided to try my hand at writing an adult romance novel.

What was the first book you wrote and what was your inspiration for the story?

It was a romantic comedy, where the hero and heroine are forced to work together after he gets the promotion she wanted. I can’t quite say what the inspiration was–just that I love office romances. LOL!

Tell us a little about the books you already have published before your Hallmark book.

I’ve published a number of teen romance books with Simon and Schuster, and two college-aged books with Kensington.

How did you come to write A Heavenly Christmas? What was the process of taking it from Hallmark movie to book form? How long did it take to write?

Stacey Donovan {head of Hallmark Publishing} had read some of my previous work and contacted me, asking if I’d like to write it. I enthusiastically agreed. To novelize it, I watched the movie a few times, then carefully wrote as I paused the movie. I then fleshed out areas and added new material as needed. It took about a month to do the whole thing.

Which character did you most identify with in A Heavenly Christmas? Why?

I loved the hero Max’s story–this man who worried he wasn’t good enough to raise his niece, his desires to make music again and find inspiration despite the tragedy in his past. I was cheering for him the whole time! And I loved the teasing he and the heroine did with each other.

Why will fans of the movie enjoy the book? Why will those who haven’t seen the movie enjoy the book? What has been the feedback from readers in general?

I think the movie fans will enjoy seeing more of the inner dialogue and narrative of the characters. But you don’t need to have seen the movie to read the book. It is a fleshed-out holiday story with familiar tropes, but warm, genuine characters. Readers have loved the glimpses into the characters’ minds and seeing what happened after the end of the movie.

Any other upcoming works you can mention?

I’m working on roughing up a cozy mystery series. I also want to write more chaste romances. Lots of stuff coming up for me this year!

In addition to writing, you also offer editing services. How did all those other services come about and where can people find more about what is offered specifically in these areas?

I’ve been an editor for several years now–I used to work for Harlequin. Yes, I edit for Hallmark as well, but I also do freelance editing. Writers can go to to see more about my services and rates.

What do you enjoy most about Christmas? Any special traditions?

My favorite Christmas tradition is putting up the tree and decorating, then grabbing a glass of wine and watching the holiday cartoon classics. It sets me in the mood for the holiday like nothing else.

While some may complain that I am featuring a Christmas book in February and suggest that I should wait until the holiday season comes back around, I vehemently disagree. If you are anything like me, Christmas 365 days a year is something you may enjoy. While we may not celebrate the season with decor, food, and gifts every day of the year, I often say that I begin my Christmas shopping right after Christmas. Furthermore, I doubt I am the only one who misses the sumptuous, wholesome, uplifting Christmas stories we relished for nearly three months, and Rhonda’s book may be just what’s needed to break out of the winter doldrums. And of course, Rhonda is still occupied with a variety of services for writers and aspiring writers, so highlighting her talent and perspective at any time of the year is certainly appropriate.

Consequently, if you are interested, I would invite you to check out Rhonda’s links below and maybe even consider purchasing a copy of her book from Hallmark today (link below!). While this interview is brief, there is no doubt that Rhonda is an accomplished author and editor whose work is solid, entertaining, and relevant. I am quite pleased to connect with her, and I greatly anticipate everything that she and the rest of the team at Hallmark Publishing will be providing for us currently and in the soon and distant future.


Author Website

Editing Website




About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth
43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA Entertainment Writer Available For Interviews and Reviews Substitute Teacher


  1. Rhonda Merwarth February 6, 2018 Reply

    Thank you for hosting me!!

    • Author
      Ruth February 6, 2018 Reply

      Rhonda, it was a pleasure! Looking forward to more of your work with Hallmark and elsewhere.

  2. denise February 6, 2018 Reply

    I love reading Christmas books all year round. I’m sure she did a wonderful job! Gregg seemed very happy with it in his tweet.

    • Author
      Ruth February 6, 2018 Reply

      Densie me too!

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